It remains to be seen whether Maryland’s fledgling slots program will expand into Prince George’s County. If so, Rosecroft Raceway is considered the most likely venue. But developer Mark Vogel is now floating an alternative: table games at the Clarion hotel in Oxon Hill.
Vogel said Wednesday that he would seek a gaming license that would allow him and minority partners to put games such as blackjack, poker and pai gow at the hotel, located just off the Beltway.
Vogel emphasized that his plan would not include slot machines, which he said that he, like many other Prince Georgians, consider a “tax on the poor.”
“I feel it’s a much better deal for Prince George’s County,” Vogel said, describing the facility he envisions as “an upscale table and card game facility.”
The plan is several steps removed from becoming reality.
Maryland lawmakers would first have to decide to authorize a sixth gambling site in Maryland and designate an area for it to be located that includes the Clarion. Lawmakers would also have to legalize table games. And statewide public votes would be required on both issues.
Finally, a commission that picks gambling locations would need to pick Vogel’s plan from what would likely be a competitive bidding process.
Penn National Gaming, which recently bought Rosecroft, is also angling for a gaming license in Prince George’s. Representatives of the company have said they would work with the community in Fort Washington, where the track is located, to determine whether their plan would include slot machines.
In 2009, a bill passed the Senate that would have allowed card games at Rosecroft. It died in the House of Delegates.